The 65 Best '80s Movies Ever Made

An official ranking of the decade's standout films.

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Since it's hard to resist a walk down memory lane, we combed through every single movie from the 1980s to bring you a list of the decade's best films. Click through for 65 (!) of our favorites, ahead.

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TriStar Pictures
#65 ‘Short Circuit’ (1986)

Short Circuit follows a robot named Number 5 on its journey from research facility to the real world. Although this comic sci-fi didn’t earn E.T.-level hype, its solid cast (Brian McNamara and Fisher Stevens, among others) and lovable plot makes it one of the decade’s most memorable films.

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Warner Bros.
#64 ‘Ladyhawke’ (1985)

Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick star in this romantic fantasy that, surprisingly, has no relation to 2018’s Lady Bird. Set in medieval France, LadyHawke tells the story of a pickpocket and a knight on a journey to find love and defeat evil.

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Columbia Pictures
#63 ‘Tootsie’ (1982)

Jessica Lange snagged the 1983 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Tootsie, which tells the story of Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), a failing New York actor who sets out to reinvent himself.

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Alamay
#62 ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ (1985)

This 1985 comedy-drama tells the story of two women: Roberta, (Rosanna Arquette) a bored housewife, who stumbles across an amnesia-ridden Susan (Madonna). The film marked Madonna’s first major screen role, which is pretty damn iconic in itself.

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Paramount Pictures
#61 ‘The Untouchables’ (1987)

Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, and Kevin Costner teamed up in what became one of the decade’s best crime movies. The Untouchables was nominated for four Academy Awards, one of which Connery won for Best Supporting Actor.

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Alamy
#60 ‘Valley Girl’ (1983)

Classic ‘80s teen Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) juggles two dudes in this classic coming-of-age tale: bad boy Randy (Nicholas Cage) and superficial Tommy (Michael Bowen). The nostalgic cast and predictable-but-entertaining plot makes for a top-notch throwback.

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United Artists
#59 ‘Baby Boom’ (1987)

Diane Keaton plays a New York businesswoman who is forced to drop everything (job and relationship included) when an unexpected death leaves her the caretaker of a baby girl. Directed by Nancy Myers (who went on to make The Parent Trap, The Holiday, and The Intern), Baby Boom has all the makings of a classic ‘80s movie: gendered roles, slapstick humor, and shoulder pads.

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Alamy
#58 ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ (1985)

After his partner is killed, U.S. Secrete Service agent Richard Chance (William L. Peterson) seeks revenge in this 1985 action drama. With supporting actor Willem Dafoe and director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) on board, To Live and Die in L.A. was an easy win.

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Warner Bros.
#57 ‘Better Off Dead’ (1985)

John Cusack plays an offbeat teen who grapples with his girlfriend (Amanda Wyss) unexpectedly dumping him. Although Better Off Dead received mix reviews, the film is still a favorite of die-hard Cusack fans.

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Paramount Pictures
#56 ‘Friday the 13th’ (1980)

Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th tells the story of five camp counselors who are stalked and murdered by a merciless killer. The film has since become a cult-classic and spawned an entire horror franchise (which includes a whopping 12 films).

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TriStar Pictures
#55 ‘Steel Magnolias’ (1989)

Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, and Dolly Parton team up in this much-loved comedy drama. Steel Magnolias will make you laugh and cry and is definitely worthy of a re-watch during a nostalgic binge.

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Paramount Pictures
#54 ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ (1984)

Eddie Murphy as Detroit detective Alex Foley in Beverly Hills Cop made for a classically ’80s (and objectively hilarious) cult favorite. The movie went on to win the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture and snagged both Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations.

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Touchstone
#53 ‘Dead Poets Society’ (1989)

Set in the late ‘50s, Robin Williams iconically plays a new, unconventional teacher at the Welton Academy who introduces his students to poetry. Dead Poets Society earned four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor.

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Columbia Pictures
#52 ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989)

When Harry Met Sally posed the ultimate can men and women just be friends question, with Billy Crystal (Harry) and Meg Ryan (Sally) at the helm. Nora Ephron went on to win a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

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Shutterstock
#51 ‘The Color Purple’ (1985)

Directed by Steven Speilberg and based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Price-winning novel, The Color Purple was easily one of the decade’s best films. With a first-class ensemble (including Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey) and a deeply emotional script, this 1985 production was an all-around win.

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#50 'Hannah and Her Sisters' (1986)

One of Woody Allen's first majorly successful films, Hannah and Her Sisters focuses on the complex relationship between Hannah (Mia Farrow), her sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest), and her husband Elliot (Michael Caine).

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#49 'Raging Bull' (1980)

Undeniably one of Martin Scorsese's best, Raging Bull features Robert De Niro as a tumultuous, but lovable, boxer.

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#48 'Broadcast News' (1987)

James L. Brooks's 1987 film told the story of two rival TV
reporters and a producer.

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#47 'Aliens' (1986)

Who could watch Alien without being completely and utterly captivated by Sigourney Weaver as badass Ripley?

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#46 'The Verdict' (1982)

Paul Newman plays a lawyer in Sidney Lumet's The Verdict, which was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Director.

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#45 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988)

A wildly-entertaining mashup of animated and live characters, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was an easy win for Robert Zemeckis.

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#44 'Chariots of Fire'(1981)

Hugh Hudson's 1981 movie about two British track athletes in the 1924 Olympics earned itself four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

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#43 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' (1989)

Another Woody Allen hit, Crimes and Misdemeanors features Martin Landau, Mia Farrow, and Anjelica Huston, and it was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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#42 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' (1989)

Equal parts ridiculous and hilarious, Bill and Ted are two airheads with a time-traveling mission to save the future. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter made for a super endearing, totally '80s flick.

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#41 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' (1982)

Based on Cameron Crowe's book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High gifted us a young Sean Penn and an undeniably hilarious plot.

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#40 'The Thing' (1982)

Call us wimps, but John Carpenter's The Thing is still frightening to this day.

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#39 'Blue Velvet' (1986)

David Lynch's haunting mystery tells the story of Jeffrey, (Kyle MacLachlan) who after finding a severed human ear, is set on a dramatic, albeit entertaining, journey.

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#38 'Platoon' (1986)

Before Charlie Sheen was, well, Charlie Sheen, he stole America's hearts as Chris, the young recruit in Vietnam. Combined with actors like Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and even Johnny Depp, Platoon was an all-around hit.

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#37 'Working Girl' (1988)

Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and Sigourney Weaver make for a hilarious, but totally moving, story of success and loss.

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#36 'Can't Buy Me Love' (1987)

Real talk: We'd go out with Patrick Dempsey for free, let alone one thousand dollars. Dempsey's too-cute role as nerdy Ronald Miller automatically made Can't Buy Me Love one of our favorites.

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